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Government of the Rio de la Plata

The Governorate of the Rio de la Plata was a colonial administration created in 1549 by Spain in the area around the Rio de la Plata.

It was at first simply a renaming of the Governorate of New Andalusia and included all of the land between 470 and 670 leagues south of the mouth of the Rio Santiago along the Pacific coast. After 1617, Paraguay was separated under a separate administration (Asuncion had been the capital of the governorate since Juan de Ayolas.)

After the founding of the Viceroyalty of Peru, the governorate was under its authority until the formation of the independent Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata in 1776. Similarly, it was under the jurisdiction of the Royal Audience of Charcas until the formation of the independent Royal Audience of Buenos Aires from 1661 to 1671 and after 1783.

Governors of New Andalusia

Adelantado Governor, Captain General, and Chief Justicee Pedro de Mendoza (1534-1537). First founding of Buenos Aires; Ft. Corpus Christi founded by Juan de Ayolas. Retires and dies mad en route home.

Governor Juan de Ayolas (1537-1539). In Paraguay. Asuncion founded by Gonzalo de Mendoza. Killed by Indians.

Lt. Governor Francisco Ruiz Galan (1537-1541). At Buenos Aires, prior to its abandonment.

Governor Domingo Martinez de Irala (1539-1541). Elected by the colonists.

Adelantado Governor Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca (1541-1544). Victorious campaign against Guarani in 1542. Arrested and returned to Spain for trial.

Governors of the Rio de la Plata

Governor Domingo Martinez de Irala (1544-1556). Encouraged his men to marry and keep concubines from local women. Two adelantados are unable to arrive from Spain and de Irala confirmed in his post by the king 1552. Died peacefully.

Governor Gonzalo de Mendoza (1556-1558). Ciudad Real de Guayra founded by Ruy Diaz de Malgarejo in 1557. Died peacefully.

Governor Francisco Ortiz de Vergara (1558-1569). Elected by the colonists. Foundations fail at San Francisco, Sancti Spiritus, and Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Arrested and returned to Spain for trial.

Lt. Governor Felipe de Caceres (1569-1572). Appointed by Royal Audience. Arrested and returned to Spain for trial.

Adelantado Governor Juan Ortiz de Zarate (1572-1576). Sailed to Spain to confirm his election. Foundation of Tucuman.

Lt. Governor Diego Ortiz de Zarate (1576-1578). Juan Ortiz leaves administration to his daughter Juana, but others de facto governors.

Lt. Governor Juan de Garay (1578-1583). Buenos Aires refounded 1580.

Lt. Governor Alonso de Vera y Aragon (1583-1587). And de facto governor at Asuncion until 1592.

Adelantado Governor Juan Torres de Vera y Aragon (1587-1592). Judge of the Royal Audience, married to Juana Ortiz de Zarate. Last appointed adelantado.

Governors of the Rio de la Plata and Paraguay

Governor Hernando Arias de Saavedra ("Hernandarias") (1592-1594).

Governor Fernando de Zarate (1594-1595).

Governor Juan Ramirez de Velasco (1596-1597).

Governor Hernando Arias de Saavedra (1597-1599). Second time.

Governor Diego Rodriguez de Valdes y de la Banda (1599-1600).

Governor Frances de Beaumont (1600-1602). Appointment formalized 1601.

Governor Hernando Arias de Saavedra (1602-1609). Third time. First Jesuit Reduction established. Slave trade restricted.

Governor Diego Martin de Negron (1609-1613).

Governor Mateo Leal de Ayala (1613-1615).

Governor Hernando Arias de Saavedra (1615-1617). Fourth time. Guayra (Paraguay) separated into a separate governorate in 1617.

Governors of Rio de la Plata

Governor Hernando Arias de Saavedra (1617-1618).

Governor Diego de Gongora (1618-1623). Found guilty post mortem of corruption, allowing trade in slaves and contraband to flourish.

Governor Alonso Perez de Salazar (1623-1624).

Governor Francisco de Cespedes (1624-1631). Continued efforts to pacify the Charrua.

Governor Pedro Esteban Davila (1631-1637). Concepcion del Bermejo destroyed by Indians.

Governor Mendo de la Cueva y Benavidez (1637-1640). Defense of Buenos Aires improved. Expedition against the Calchaquis. Fort Santa Teresa erected.

Governor Ventura Mojica (or Mujica) (1640-1641).

Governor Andres de Sandoval (1641).

Governor Jeronimo Luis de Cabrera (1641-1645). Ban of Portuguese attempted in governorate.

Governor Jacinto Lariz (1645-1653). Arrested.

Governor Pedro Baigorri Ruiz (1653-1660). Three French ships successfully repelled from Buenos Aires. Calchaquis repelled from Santa Fe.

Governor Alonso Mercado y Villacorta (1660-1663). Request to be able to send two trade ships annually denied. Dutch ships permitted to dock in Buenos Aires.

Governor Juan Martinez de Salazar (1663-1674). Continued requests for free commerce. The Royal Audience of Buenos Aires briefly independent of the court at Charcas.

Governor Andres de Robles (1674-1678).

Governor Jose de Garro (1678-1682). Portuguese expelled from Colonia de Sacramento in 1680.

Governor Jose de Herrera y Sotomayor (1682-1691). Tucuman relocated.

Governor Agustin de Robles (1691-1698).

Governor Manuel de Prado y Maldonado (1698-1704). Visit from Danish squadron in Buenos Aires.

Governor Alonso Juan de Valdes e Inclan (1704-1708). Colonia de Sacramento retaken.

Governor Manuel de Velasco y Tejada (1708-1712). Purchased office for 3000 pesos. Arrested.

Governor Juan Jose de Muliloa (1712).

Governor Alonso de Arce y Soria (1712-1714). Buys the position for 18,000 pesos. Dies five months later.

Governor Jose Bermudez de Castro (1714-1715).

Governor Baltasar Garcia Ros (1715-1717). Colonia del Sacramento returned to the Portuguese. Campaigns against the Charrua, Yaro, and Bohanes.

Governor Bruno Mauricio de Zabala (1717-1734). Portuguese removed from Montevideo.

Governor Miguel de Salcedo y Sierraalta (1734-1742). Expulsion of foreigners from Buenos Aires ordered. Failed attempt to retake Colonia del Sacramento.

Governor Domingo Ortiz de Rozas (1742-1745). Refortified Montevideo.

Governor Jose de Andonaegui (1745-1756). First mail delivery opened with Chile and Potosi.

Governor Pedro Antonio de Cevallos (or Ceballos) (1756-1766). Colonia del Sacramento retaken.

Governor Francisco de Paula Bucarelli y Ursua (1766-1770). English expelled from the Falkland Islands. Mail inaugurated between A Coruna and the Rio de la Plata.

Governor Juan Jose de Vertiz y Salcedo (1770-1776). After which, the governorate is replaced by the Viceroyalty and Intendancy of Buenos Aires in the Bourbon reforms.

See also

History of Argentina

History of Paraguay

History of Uruguay

Royal Audience of Charcas

Royal Audience of Buenos Aires

Viceroyalty of Peru

Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata

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